Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Thesis defended!

I'm in a daze right now. When it wears off, I might have forgotten the details, so here goes.

Academic stuff first:

The defense went well. The presentation I gave this morning at the defense was the best one of all the times I've rehearsed it. I was able to answer all the questions raised by the committee to at least some degree. There were no random, totally out-there questions that caught me off guard, which was a recurring fear of mine. Basically, this was a textbook MA defense - I was well prepared, my committee was well prepared, and my thesis was tight enough to accept a few challenges here and there but ultimately stand on its own two feet.

Now for the behind-the-scenes stuff:

The girls came walking downstairs this morning, all dressed up and ready to go. Sometimes I don't give them enough credit for being aware of what is going on in my life. I had told them today was a special day for me, and why, but I was so touched that they remembered, and chose to honor the day by dressing nicely.

I had a friend of ours watch the girls and Sterling near the defense venue so I could nurse Sterling during the deliberations (after the defense/questions but before the verdict). I wanted the girls there, too, because goodness knows they've suffered enough over the last almost-three years of me being in an MA program. They deserve some manaqeesh and Perrier at the end of it. Also, I think it's important for them to see me in a different role than usual, and for my committee to know more about my family life. Healthy exposure all around.

Well, at about the 1-hour mark, as questions were winding down, I heard Sterling crying through the door of the conference room. I could tell it was his hungry cry. Poor baby! Fortunately, my committee heard it, too, and the questions wrapped up quickly. It was a strange way to end a thesis defense, but it was about time to finish up anyway. I left the room so the committee could deliberate, and took Sterling into the bathroom to nurse him.

But then, he wouldn't nurse! I could tell he was hungry, but he must have been able to sense that I was nervous and in a hurry. We were both just getting more and more upset. So I gave up and went back to the conference room to hear, somewhat anti-climactically since everyone else was already there, that I had passed.

We all hung out together for a while enjoying the refreshments. After a few group photos, it was over. Like I said, I'm still in a daze.

Now begins the process of making the few changes that were suggested (all very minor - more like tweaking the wording in a few areas) and running around collecting signatures and printing things out.

I hope I have something more profound to say after all this sinks in!

Me, my committee, and my kids. Would I have liked to be more svelte in these photos that mark this momentous occasion? Yes. But of "write a thesis, manage a household, and lose the baby weight," I could really only choose two. So you can see which two I chose. There is plenty of time for the other.

18 comments:

Crys said...

Congrats! I think you look great! That dress looks amazing. Also the girls are sweet. And what is with babies....stop being so intuitive and just feed :). I like how you said make both groups aware of each other. We were at a Christmas party this week and someone asked if we were going to have kids ever. Dr j said, "oh we have four." Their jaw dropped to the floor :)

Liz Johnson said...

You look fantastic, the kids look adorable, and CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!

Susanne said...

I love that your girls dressed nicely for this event knowing how important it was to you. Congratulations!

Señora H-B said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am thrilled for you!

I can certainly relate to feeling in a daze after, though I'm glad to hear that your revisions are so minor (mine were...not. My committee was a disaster). You all look wonderful in the picture.

Bridget said...

Ooh, tough. I hope it turned out well in the end.

elliespen said...

Congratulations! I never had to do a thesis, but I did spend a week or two in a daze after taking the bar, so I can imagine your mental state. You look great (and I've got some serious dress envy going on). Again I say, congratulations! (And a woohoo! just for good measure.)

Jessie said...

Congrats!!!!!!!!!!

Hannah said...

Congratulations!

Kristi said...

Congrats! Nice to hear that all the hard work has finally paid off and that even your kids knew to value it.
And off topic- I really like your blog. It does not happen often that reading a casual text I have to use a dictionary but with your blog it keeps happening. This time "svelte" was the interesting and unknown word. Thanks.

Eevi said...

Well done! I like how you pointed out how you can only do so many things and I like the fact that you decided that worrying about baby weight wasn't the most important thing and you shouldnt because you look great! What is the plan now that you are done with your masters? Besides the demanding 24-7 job of taking care of three kids:)

Kathy Haynie said...

What a wonderful day! Congratulations to you and the whole family. I know what you mean about it being a project for everyone. My goodness, the children suddenly look so big - all of them! I guess I haven't seen Sterling for a while. Oh, happy happy day.

Britney said...

Congratulations!

Jen said...

Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! SUCH an amazing thing. I especially love that it was important for you to give your girls this exposure. They'll always remember it!

Now get that these all bound up and in the Library of Congress! (And on your bookshelf at home.)

breanne said...

Congratulations!! Turning in that final copy of my thesis was one of the best feelings ever. And I didn't even have to make refreshments for my thesis committee! I'm totally impressed that you did it with a new baby and 2 other kids at home. So amazing!

Scotty P said...

Congratulations. That must feel great. Now, onto the PhD!

Cait said...

Nice work Bridget! I was lucky I received a masters degree with little effort after a few semesters in my PhD program, but will nonetheless be doing this in a few years as well with my dissertation! Perhaps with a crying hungry baby in the hallway...

AmandaStretch said...

Congratulations!!!

Jennifer said...

I'm way late on this, but congratulations and thanks for sharing details about this important day!

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